The Local Government Unit (LGU) of Amulung, Cagayan together with the UN World Food Programme (UNWFP) inaugurated the emergency food storage facility intended for storing food, seeds and other commodities during disasters. The event was held at Centro, Amulung on February 21, 2012. The facility was funded by the UNWFP, USAID, LGU Amulung, and the Department of Social Welfare and Development.
According to Mayor Nicanor de Leon of Amulung, the construction of the emergency storage facility meets the needs of some 16,000 residents. Through the facility, they can store their food and seeds which can sustain their lives during disasters. “Our town is perennially flooded during typhoons because nine of our barangays are usually drowned in water. The newly-constructed facility will become an immediate emergency response especially when transportation of relief commodities is impossible. Disasters impede the food security of 5,000 families from the nine barangays of Amulung,” Mayor de Leon added.
Meanwhile, WFP Food Security Head, Dipayan Bhattacharyya commended the municipality of Amulung for the speedy construction of the facility. He said that it was the first-ever community-based storage facility constructed in the entire Philippines. “We are glad that after 48 days of working together, this dream project was realized and we guarantee that the people of Amulung will benefit from it. We need to concentrate and do something to make a lot of communities resilient to disasters. We need to work hand in hand, strengthen our capacities, and share our expertise in order to reach a common goal,” Bhattacharyya added.
Moreover, Disaster Preparedness and Response Officer Abraham Abatneh expressed his gratitude to the people of Amulung for their cooperation. He said that because of the outstanding workforce, the project became successful. “The WFP, being an international organization aims to respond to the needs of the people most especially victims of disasters, will continue to assist the Cagayanos. WFP and USAID pledged to give continuous support and partnership with the LGUs in the coming years. “We will continue working with the LGUs to help alleviate the burden of disaster victims in the province of Cagayan,”Abatneh added.
Governor Alvaro T. Antonio through his representative Bonifacio Cuarteros, PSWDO Chief for Technical Division, extended his appreciation to the staff of WFP for the assistance to the Cagayanos. He said this endeavor is timely because Cagayan is prone to flooding during calamities. “Through interventions like these, difficulties will be reduced and the Cagayanos will be able to overcome the effects of disasters,” Cuarteros said. He also assured that the provincial government will continuously give technical assistance to the people of Amulung during calamities.
A total of P1.2 million was spent for the construction of the storage facility in the town of Amulung. Two other towns in the province are also beneficiaries of WFP (Aparri and Enrile). ASLacambra